Liverpool are interested in signing Napoli defender Nikola Maksimovic.
Maksimovic to Anfield?
Jim White confirmed the news on talkSPORT after stating that he had a brief conversation with Gli Azzurri owner Aurelio De Laurentis, who told him “of course” the Reds are interested.
Jurgen Klopp’s side had been heavily linked with his teammate Kalidou Koulibaly but interest appears to have turned to his 29-year-old teammate, perhaps due to what White claims is a £100m price tag on Koulibaly.
Should Liverpool sign Kalidou Koulibaly?
From seven Serie A appearances this season, the 6 foot 3 centre-back has averaged two clearances and a pass success rate of 95.3% (Whoscored). With Liverpool missing both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez due to serious knee injuries, the Reds have a void to fill at the back, along with the fitness issues of Joel Matip.
Speaking to talkSPORT, White clarified what he was told by De Laurentis, while also touching on Koulibaly and the club’s stance on his future.
He said: “There isn’t a window in the last two, three or four that we don’t see big mentions of the Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.
“This morning, I spoke to Aurelio De Laurentiis, the Napoli owner, and said what about your player, are there bids in for him?
“He laughed it off saying he’s not for sale. He’s absolutely not for sale unless one of the big clubs in England come up with £100million.”
White continued: “He then says to me ‘I thought you were going to refer to our defender Nikola Maksimovic, the Serbian who is 29 years of age, and Liverpool’s previous interest in him’.
“So I said ‘are Liverpool still interested in your defender?’ He interrupted me to say of course with injury problems to Gomez and Van Dijk but no they haven’t heard from them of late.”
Transfer Tavern Verdict
Maksimovic has been at Napoli since 2016 and has served various loan spells in Italy and Russia during that time. Having made just 85 appearances, the Reds could take advantage with his contract due to expire in the summer.
That contract situation obviously makes him a lot more of a realistic target than his teammate if the Anfield outfit are seeking a simple short-term solution, as the price tag on Koulibaly now seems far too steep.
In other news, Liverpool have been linked with a Ligue 1 starlet – read more about it here.
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